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EDITORIAL: Striking at the heart of Iran’s regime


New U.S. sanctions on Ali Khamenei and the Office of the Supreme Leader, the Iranian regime’s main pillar of power and effectively a government within a government, are a major blow to the pinnacle of the mullahs’ rule. They are a blow not just to Khamenei, but to all his cronies, representatives, offices and individuals appointed by him, from the Judiciary, to the Guardian Council, to the Expediency Council to the state broadcasting corporation. Iranian opposition leader Maryam Rajavi described sanctions against Khamenei and the Office of the Supreme Leader, which is the epicenter of crime, corruption and terrorism in Iran, as spot-on and imperative and said it should be extended to the Ministry of Intelligence (MOIS), the institution impeding the uprising for freedom.

After the diplomatic visits to Iran by Japanese, German and UK officials, who were humiliated by Khamenei, and after a series of terrorist and military operations by the regime such as planting mines and downing a U.S. drone and missile attacks, the U.S. took another major step back from the illusion of dialogue with the Iranian regime. President Donald Trump soon concluded that even thinking of an agreement with this regime is “too soon.”

Khamenei is careful to avoid any negotiations to change his regime’s behavior, because a ‘change of behavior’ would in any event rapidly lead to its downfall.

The ensemble of institutes and representatives affiliated to Khamenei in political, military, security, educational, cultural, sportive, commercial, governmental and non-governmental centers and in the army, police and “cultural headquarters” such as the Friday Prayers institution number about 120,000 members. The major policies of the Iranian regime are defined in Khamenei’s office, which oversees and controls all the intelligence and security apparatus. Fabricating cases against the regime’s opponents and rival factions, including their media, controlling and oppressing dissident clerics, ‘anti-vice’ patrols, institutes responsible for the export of the so-called “revolution” to other countries, the network of international advisors, the Strategic Foreign Relations Council and controlling the cyber space are all under the supervision of Khamenei’s office and have a tremendous and limitless authority and budget. The Supreme Leader’s Office answers to no one, respects no rules or laws and pays no tax. It is the highest point of command for suppression and containing society. The IRGC and state security forces receive their orders from Khamenei.

Proponents of the policy of appeasing the mullahs’ regime have for decades urged ‘constructive dialogue’ and ‘critical engagement’ and maintaining any form of relations with the regime, with a misconception that this would change its behavior. The Iranian Resistance has stated from day one that such a concept is flawed from the get-go and is simply an excuse to continue appeasing the mullahs at the expense of the Iranian people. The decision to add Khamenei and his Office and cronies to the sanctions list is certainly a step endorsing the viewpoint of the Resistance and moving the world community from the dangerous misconception of changing the regime’s behavior; it should be welcomed and aided.